2002-06 Minis have a shock tower design that allows the top of the front towers to deform over time if the suspension bottoms out. This can happen if the car hits a deep pothole or other obstacle that causes the front suspension to fully compress. Firmer aftermarket suspension or lower-profile tires may exacerbate this problem.
Aftermarket reinforcements may help reduce or postpone this problem. A strut brace wouldn't hurt, although they have not been shown to prevent the problem.
The jury is out on whether the R56 2007+ cars will have the same problem. Stay tuned.
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